A GUIDE TOWARDS\r\nSTRONGER SKIN\r\nYour skin acts as a natural barrier between you and the outside world. It helps to protect your body from the allergens, viruses and bacteria you encounter every day. That\u2019s why it pays to take good care of it.\r\n\r\nSKIN: YOUR NATURAL BARRIER\r\nOne of the most important functions of the outermost part of your skin is the formation of your skin barrier. This helps to prevent irritants, micro-organisms and allergens from entering the body. Your skin\u2019s barrier also controls water loss and helps to keep your skin soft and supple.\r\n\r\nYour skin barrier regulates the water content in your skin and protects you against the world around you. Your skin barrier function is mainly made up of stratum corneum, which is the outermost part of the epidermis.\r\n\r\nStratum corneum, just like a normal brick and mortar wall is made up of two parts. The \u201cbricks\u201d are flattened dead skin cells called corneocytes. The \u201cmortar\u201d is made up of lipids (or natural oils). Your corneocytes consist of natural moisturizing factors such as urea and lactic acid, which help to attract water to the cells. Lipids hold these cells in place and help to fill in the gaps. Working as one, this protective \u201cwall\u201d helps to keep moisture in and micro-organisms and allergens out.\r\n\r\nWHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR NATURAL BARRIER IS DAMAGED?\r\nWhen the skin\u2019s natural barrier is weakened or damaged, your body struggles to maintain the right balance of moisture, which can cause dry skin.\r\n\r\nDry skin may have a flaky appearance, with red irritated areas, as well as dry white patches. It may feel rough and uneven to the touch and typically create a feeling of tightness and itching, which may also develop into painful cracks.\r\n\r\nA weakened skin barrier may result in a further increase in water loss, resulting in a more pronounced dryness, as well as increased vulnerability. Dry skin may additionally cause an itching sensation, which may produce an urge to scratch. Repeated itching and scratching of dry skin can lead to skin damage, increasing the risk of secondary inflammation in the skin, infections, and even eczema.